Matthews wins Quebec GP with last-ditch sprint

Michael Matthews overcame bad positioning in the finale sprint to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

Michael Matthews timed his sprint to perfection to win Friday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

The Australian launched out of a diminished peloton and surged past leaders Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) in the meters just before the finish.

The four riders had built a small advantage on the group after attacking up the final series of climbs to the line. But all four hesitated in the final push to the finish, allowing the group to catch them just before the line.

“I was really kicking myself in the final that I wasn’t with the best guys going over the climbs,” Matthews (Team Sunweb) said after the finish. “I’m just lucky that these guys looked at each other in the final straight, and I was able to have a shot at them in the sprint.”

The victory marked Matthews’s second-consecutive win at the Canadian one-day race, which spins a hilly circuit through downtown Quebec City.

The thrilling finish came at the end of the 200-kilometer route which spun 16 laps of a 12.6-kilometer circuit around the old section of Quebec City. The traditional route includes three punishing climbs, arranged in a stair-step manner: the Cote de la Montagne, the Cote de la Potasse, and the Montee de la Fabrique.

Six riders broke away early, and to no surprise the early move contained North American riders: Canadian National Team members Evan Burtnik and Adam Roberge and American Gavin Mannion (Rally-UHC) joined Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy), Luis Mas (Movistar), and Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo). The group had five minutes at one point, until pace making from Team Sunweb and CCC brought the group back.

Mannion was the final breakaway rider to be swept up; the pack surged past him on the penultimate lap to set up the traditional battle on the final ascent.

Alaphilippe appeared to be in the best position, with Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Dries Devenyns surging on the front on the final climb. Alaphilippe then put in a softening attack that drew out Sagan, van Avermaet, Colbrelli, and Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott).

With four pre-race favorites in the move, the race appeared to set for a four-way battle between Sagan, Alaphilippe, Colbrelli, and van Avermaet. Then, within sight of the finish line, the four riders stalled and looked at each other. Behind, a surging Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) led the group up to Colbrelli’s wheel, and which point Matthews made his move.

In his post interview, Matthews chided himself for not making the selection alongside Sagan, van Avermaet, and Alaphilippe.

“I made a big mistake at the bottom of the climb. I wasn’t in a good spot,” Matthews said. “When the big favorites went I wasn’t in a position to go with them. I’m angry with myself about that.

“But they came back and I was able to have good legs for the sprint. It’s a win but also a big mistake in the final.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec One Day Race Results

1MATTHEWS MichaelTeam Sunweb5:13:01
2SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe,,
4ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,
5STUYVEN JasperTrek - Segafredo,,
6SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,
7ALAPHILIPPE JulianDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
8ROOSEN TimoTeam Jumbo-Visma,,
9WELLENS TimLotto Soudal,,
10COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,
11IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,
12BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First,,
13SBARAGLI KristianIsrael Cycling Academy,,
14MOLLEMA BaukeTrek - Segafredo,,
15HOULE HugoAstana Pro Team,,
16PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,
17WOODS MichaelEF Education First,,
18VANENDERT JelleLotto Soudal,,
19VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,
20NAESEN OliverAG2R La Mondiale,,
21YATES AdamMitchelton-Scott,,
22PICCOLI JamesCanada,,
23FRANK MathiasAG2R La Mondiale,,
24MADOUAS ValentinGroupama - FDJ,,
25VILLELLA DavideAstana Pro Team,,
26SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,
27ASGREEN KasperDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
28HAIG JackMitchelton-Scott,,
29GESCHKE SimonCCC Team,,
30MOLARD RudyGroupama - FDJ,,
31BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,
32ZEITS AndreyAstana Pro Team,,
33PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,
34BETANCUR CarlosMovistar Team,,
35MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,
36MOHORIČ MatejBahrain Merida,,
37COLBRELLI SonnyBahrain Merida,,
38HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha Alpecin0:10
39HAAS NathanTeam Katusha Alpecin0:14
40VANMARCKE SepEF Education First0:21
41COSTA RuiUAE-Team Emirates,,
42ROUX AnthonyGroupama - FDJ0:30
43DEWULF StanLotto Soudal0:32
44BOOKWALTER BrentMitchelton-Scott0:37
45DE VOS AdamRally UHC Cycling,,
46OLIVEIRA RuiUAE-Team Emirates,,
48GENIETS KevinGroupama - FDJ,,
49BROWN NathanEF Education First,,
50GASPAROTTO EnricoTeam Dimension Data,,
51CATAFORD AlexanderIsrael Cycling Academy,,
52LE GAC OlivierGroupama - FDJ0:49
53HOWES AlexEF Education First0:56
54HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
55NEILANDS KristsIsrael Cycling Academy,,
56CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team,,
57MARTENS PaulTeam Jumbo-Visma,,
58FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,
59BAKELANTS JanTeam Sunweb,,
60PAUWELS SergeCCC Team,,
61ŠPILAK SimonTeam Katusha Alpecin,,
62HIRSCHI MarcTeam Sunweb1:05
63PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates1:11
64BILBAO PelloAstana Pro Team1:26
65HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,
67JENSEN AugustIsrael Cycling Academy,,
68ZUKOWSKY NicolasCanada1:47
69NIBALI VincenzoBahrain Merida1:54
70BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,
71MAS EnricDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
73GARCÍA CORTINA IvánBahrain Merida,,
74GERVAIS LaurentCanada,,
75OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe,,
76ROELANDTS JürgenMovistar Team,,
77CARUSO DamianoBahrain Merida,,
78GREGAARD JonasAstana Pro Team,,
79BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling,,
80WHELAN JamesEF Education First,,
81DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ,,
83SCHÄR MichaelCCC Team,,
84PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,
85GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,
86ANDERSON RyanRally UHC Cycling,,
87PARET-PEINTRE AurélienAG2R La Mondiale,,
88MONFORT MaximeLotto Soudal,,
89BENEDETTI CesareBORA - hansgrohe,,
90MAES NikolasLotto Soudal,,
91TOLHOEK AntwanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,
92HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb,,
93EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy,,
94NAESEN LawrenceLotto Soudal,,
95MARTIN DanUAE-Team Emirates,,
96VINGEGAARD JonasTeam Jumbo-Visma,,
97THOMAS GeraintTeam INEOS,,
98DE PLUS LaurensTeam Jumbo-Visma,,
99EVENEPOEL RemcoDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
100JUUL-JENSEN ChristopherMitchelton-Scott,,
101DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step2:18
102STANNARD RobertMitchelton-Scott2:30
103KNEES ChristianTeam INEOS2:33
104KONRAD PatrickBORA - hansgrohe,,
105GOGL MichaelTrek - Segafredo,,
106ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling,,
107SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo2:53
108POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates3:08
109SERRY PieterDeceuninck - Quick Step,,
110JANSE VAN RENSBURG ReinardtTeam Dimension Data3:34
111HOLLENSTEIN RetoTeam Katusha Alpecin3:39
112CORT MagnusAstana Pro Team4:07
113LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma4:42
114VAN DEN BERG JuliusEF Education First4:54
115CHEYNE JordanCanada5:21
116CHRÉTIEN Charles-ÉtienneCanada,,
117BURGHARDT MarcusBORA - hansgrohe5:23
118BASSO LeonardoTeam INEOS7:22
119KWIATKOWSKI MichałTeam INEOS10:44
120HALVORSEN KristofferTeam INEOS,,
121VERVAEKE LouisTeam Sunweb,,
122DUVAL JulienAG2R La Mondiale,,
123CONCI NicolaTrek - Segafredo,,
124MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling,,
125BURTNIK EvanCanada11:02
126SAGIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy,,
127DAL-CIN MatteoRally UHC Cycling,,
128GONÇALVES JoséTeam Katusha Alpecin,,

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.